Cancer patient: Sing Your Heart Out helped me get my voice back

Christine Candlish of Victory Housing Trust (left) and Maggie Wheeler of Sing Your Heart Out at a ta

Christine Candlish of Victory Housing Trust (left) and Maggie Wheeler of Sing Your Heart Out at a taster session at North Walsham. Picture: Andy Newman - Credit: Andy Newman

A professional musician feared she had lost her ability to sing after being diagnosed with cancer.

Sing Your Heart Out participant Rosalind Holden. Picture: Andy Newman

Sing Your Heart Out participant Rosalind Holden. Picture: Andy Newman - Credit: Andy Newman

Rosalind Holden, from Southrepps, revealed her confidence was considerably knocked after treatment damaged her larynx.

However, she regained her voice, and confidence, after joining a new singing group run by Norfolk charity Sing Your Heart Out, which was set up to help people feel better about themselves, help reduce stress, and increase their confidence through singing.

Rosalind, who has been attending some of the north Norfolk taster sessions aimed at past and present mental health service users, their family, friends, carers and support workers, said: 'Sing Your Heart Out has helped me get my voice back.

'Music is a great leveller, it's a really friendly group, and I haven't met anyone who doesn't enjoy it. Coming here makes me feel good – and it has given me back my voice, which I thought was lost.'

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Founded in 2005, the charity runs regular groups in Norwich, Great Yarmouth, King's Lynn and south Norfolk.

It is one of seven community groups across north Norfolk celebrating a combined £19,000 windfall, following the latest round of grants from the Victory Housing Community Fund.

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The charity has received £3,000 to establish a Sing Your Heart Out Group in North Norfolk, with taster sessions already taking place across the area.

Maggie Wheeler, Sing Your Heart Out committee member and former chair of the county's Mental Health Care Trust, said: 'As well as being physically good for you, singing is proven to enhance your mental health.

'There is a real sense of community at our singing sessions, people enjoy doing things together, and it is equally beneficial for those who have experienced or are experiencing mental health problems, and those who want to protect their own mental wellbeing.'

Other groups receiving support from the Victory Housing Community Fund this month were: EP Youth, which received £4,998 to tackle rural isolation by providing a free inclusive project for young people aged between 11-18 serving Briston, Melton Constable and Hindolveston; Merchants Place in Cromer, which received £3,000 to run 'Yes We Can', a new community learning and social support project designed to meet the needs of local adults with a range of additional needs; Mardler, the North Norfolk Talking Newspaper, which received £2,500 to purchase a laptop and listening devices for users of the service; Norfolk Community Law Service, which received £2,000 to provide a weekly Free Legal Advice Service at Cromer; Stiffkey Playing Field, which received £2,000 to improve the fencing around the play area; and Lighthouse Charity Trust in Sheringham, which received £1,500 to resource the proposed Western Wing extension.

Victory Housing Trust chief executive John Archibald said: 'Once again we are delighted to be giving out grants to some of the most deserving and hard-working voluntary groups.

'Our grants panel has allocated funds to a variety of organisations doing different things, but which all have in common the fact that they are contributing so much to our communities.'

Full details of the Victory Housing Community Fund can be found at www.norfolkfoundation.comMore details on the Sing Your Heart Out north Norfolk taster sessions can be found at

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